Introducing my easy Butter Cake recipe. A tender cake with a soft, buttery crumb all topped with a simple vanilla buttercream. This classic tea cake is quick, easy and perfect for morning or afternoon tea.
Classic Butter Cake 💕
Is there anything better than a soft and tender Butter Cake frosted with melt-in-your-mouth vanilla buttercream?
This tea-time treat uses only pantry staples but is bound to become a firm family favourite.
Serve with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, or add a thick layer of fluffy vanilla buttercream. Dusted with white chocolate curls, it’s a simple but oh-so-delicious tea-time treat.
Why you will love this recipe
- Buttery crumb: I’ll show you how to get a super tender crumb bursting with sweet vanilla flavour.
- Quick and easy: This buttery cake takes only minutes to make.
- Simple ingredients: You only need to use a handful of basic pantry ingredients.
- Last minute: It’s the perfect cake to whip up at the last minute when you don’t have time to run to the shops.
For the longest time, I’ve been obsessing over one-layer cakes. You know the kind – they won’t win awards when compared to a towering layer cake – but they always, always win in taste.
They’re quick to make and fun to serve, whether it’s for a leisurely gathering, a friendly morning tea or a low-key birthday celebration.
There are no special ingredients in this cake. It’s made just the way you would expect, with butter, sugar, eggs and flour. And while there is nothing surprising about the ingredients list, the mastery comes from the method.
If you follow the instructions and make sure your ingredients are at room temperature, where specified, your cake is bound to be buttery and sweet, soft and moist – just like a good Butter Cake should be.
Try not to over mix or over bake your cake and you’re sure to be delighted with the results.
What is Butter Cake?
Butter Cake is a basic cake made with simple ingredients – the key being butter. It’s quick and simple to make.
It achieves its beautifully, buttery crumb by creaming together butter and sugar using an electric mixer. It is a light, moist and buttery cake.
How to make a Butter Cake
- One of the keys to making a really good Butter Cake is making sure ingredients, like your butter and eggs, are at room temperature. This cake relies heavily on the correct creaming of your butter and sugar in the beginning to create a lovely soft and fluffy cake. And the temperature of your ingredients are key to this result.
- I recommend using good quality butter and caster sugar to begin. If you don’t have access to caster sugar, you can swap it 1:1 for granulated sugar. Read more about caster sugar here.
- Begin by creaming together your room temperature butter, sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer. If you watch closely, you’ll see that in just a minute or two, not only will the two ingredients combine but they will change in colour and texture. Your butter mixture will become pale and creamy – almost a little fluffy. This is the perfect start to your Butter Cake.
- Next, add your eggs. It’s important for your eggs to also be at room temperature. If they are fridge cold, it’s likely your mixture will curdle or go a little lumpy. If this happens, it’s ok, but try to avoid it next time by adding room temperature eggs.
- Mix your eggs just briefly to break up the yolks and give the sides a good scrape down.
- Finally, you’ll add half your flour and baking powder, along with your full fat milk, and slowly mix to combine. Then add the remaining flour mix. There’s no need to over mix. At this stage your cake batter should be smooth and creamy.
- Finally, cook your cake in a moderate oven until it springs back lightly to the touch. It should go lovely and golden on top. Try not to over bake your Butter Cake so it’s not dry.
- Leave your cake to cool completely before frosting with a little vanilla buttercream. Perfection!
A simple one layer butter cake made from scratch.
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 210 grams (1 and 1/2 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) full fat or whole milk
- 115 grams (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
- 250 grams (2 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1–2 tablespoons full fat or whole milk, room temperature
- A few drops of pink food gel, optional
- White chocolate, shaved, optional
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Grease and line an 8-inch round cake pan with baking or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and creamy, approximately 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat briefly – don’t worry if the mixture goes a little bit lumpy – then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the plain flour, baking powder and salt. Add half of the flour mixture, along with all the milk and slowly mix together on a low speed. Add the remaining flour mixture and continue to mix until the cake batter is smooth and creamy (but try not to over mix).
- Pour cake batter into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- To make the frosting, add butter to a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla, sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk and continue to beat until smooth.
- If the frosting is too thick, add extra tablespoon of milk. If desired, add a few drops of food gel and stir until frosting changes colour.
- Spread frosting on top of cooled cake. Sprinkle over white chocolate shavings.
*Butter Cake is best served on the day it is made.